September 13, 2012

Do Kids Need To Learn Cursive?

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Written by: Shari
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There’s a big debate whether cursive writing should be taught in school. The New York Times in their article, Is Cursive Dead? said,

“The new Common Core State Standards, a set of national benchmarks for American public schools, do not require students to learn cursive.”

Now, many public schools are asking whether kids need to learn cursive.

It’s a good question, and one that homeschool parents can enjoy deciding on their own!

But it leads to another important question. Should children be taught to read cursive in school–since most of us old folks still write occasionally–and we write cursive. To avoid the widening gulf of the generation gap that’s sure to form, we’ll have to learn to speak the new language, and that means learning to text, communicating in memes, figuring out hashtags–and going back to printing.

For, writing in cursive may be to this generation what polyester pants were in ours–a sure sign of being unhip!

Or, perhaps having an attractive penmanship will be the mark of well-educated persons in the next few decades. . .

If you have selected a curriculum that focuses on printing, and choose to eliminate cursive handwriting in the elementary grades, you might consider adding it back in to your school schedule in the middle school grades–as an art elective.

As homeschoolers, we enjoyed the freedom to choose our own handwriting method, but the program we selected for our children, although efficient and easy, really wasn’t that attractive!

As the girls got older, they admired the Spencerian script in the old family Bible, and so we found this little gem, Spencerian Penmanship, which is so old it’s new again!. In addition to providing an art credit, it has given them a lifelong attractive penmanship style, that is constantly admired and complimented.

Click here to read the review of Spencerian Penmanship, and check out what Denise Eide, author of The Logic of English, says about teaching cursive writing before printing! You can read a review of that cursive handwriting manual here.

As homeschool parents, it’s wonderful to have so many educational choices for our children–and handwriting is a skill that can be taught in fifteen minutes per day as long as you’re consistent, so don’t stress. Scope and Sequence are suggestions, and you can decide to teach cursive in sixth grade if you change your mind!

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About the Author

Shari Popejoy, wife of twenty-eight years, mother of three, founder of a local co-op for hundreds of homeschool children, author of seven books, and creator of Won Without Words (a blog of encouragement for wives) lives in the quiet country of the Ozarks where she enjoys writing surrounded by nature (and her children, of course). She is currently completing Volume V of the Livingstone Library, an adventure series for 'smart' kids, which features characters with character, and underlying allegorical spiritual truths. She enjoys high places and the road less traveled, and moments when all is well, and peace permeates like a fragrance. . .oh, and chocolate, fresh fruit and veggies, and early morning sunrises. Read her blog at


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